Bella and I are excited to be part of the Kat and Juju blog tour! Releasing on July 1, 2020, this picture book is written and illustrated by Kataneh Vahdani. Special thanks to Amazon/Two Lions Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Kat likes doing things her very own way, but sometimes she doubts herself. So when a bird named Juju arrives, Kat hopes he’ll be the best friend she’s always wanted. He’s outgoing and silly and doesn’t worry about what others think—the opposite of who she is. Bit by bit, with Juju’s help, Kat discovers her strength, and how to have a friend and be one—while still being true to herself.
Kat is too timid to talk to other kids so she is beyond excited for next birthday for she will get the greatest present ever – a best friend! When they first meet, Kat is certain that she and Juju will be perfect together.
But Kat begins to worry once she observes how different they are. Kat colors inside the lines and Juju colors outside the lines. Juju is adventurous and Kat is cautious. How can they be best friends if they are so different?
Being a good friend, Juju attempts to ease Kat’s apprehension but even with his support, Kat is still anxious. But when a helpless little bird falls from the sky, Kat wants to help but is not sure how. Juju shows Kat that teamwork makes the dream work and together, they take care of the bird so it will be strong enough to fly. And like Kat, the bird is anxious so Kat shows bravery by stepping out of her comfort zone to help it. When the little bird finally have the courage to fly on its own, Kat was so excited that she dances in front of everyone without being self–conscious.
Self–acceptance, friendship, and bravery are all themes in Kat and Juju but the power of friendship struck the biggest chord with me. Kat learned that friends do not have to be the same and true friends accept you for who you are. Another lesson learned is friends can help you step out of your comfort zone and support you in trying something new. By taking some risks which were scary, Kat experienced the joy in seeing the rewards of her effort. While Kat stays tr
The illustrations especially of Kat would be a great resource for teaching character traits and feelings. Throughout the book, readers see Kat’s wide range of expressions from happy (when coloring inside the lines), excitement (opening the door to meet Juju), worry (building a sandcastle on the beach while Juju cannonballs into the water), concern (holding the little bird), fear (riding a bike with Juju), and joy (seeing the little bird fly). What I love is teachers can lead a discussion on which are traits (describes a character’s personality) and feelings (describes how a character feels at a particular time).
Praise for Kat and Juju!
“This debut gently encourages personal growth while reinforcing
the value of being different.” —Kirkus Reviews
Meet the Author/Illustrator:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Kat and Juju, courtesy of Amazon/Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). Fill out the Google form below to enter. This giveaway is open from Friday, June 25 through Sunday, July 5, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST. Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.